The CPI Tuesday took exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbing the opponents of demonetisation as supporters of black money, saying it did not “befit” his office. “The Prime Minister says those opposing demonetisation are supporters of black money. This does not befit his office, doesn’t suit it,” CPI National Secretary D Raja said. Modi had recently castigated opponents of demonetisation and those calling it “anti-people”, as “political worshippers” of graft and black money.
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“It is unfortunate that some political worshippers (rajnaitik poojari) of black money are calling our efforts anti-people,” he had said in his address at the 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) at Bengaluru on Sunday.
Raja, a Rajya Sabha MP, asked if he was a supporter of black money since he was questioning the government’s demonetisation, which, he said, had affected farming, industry and the hospitality sectors among others. While demonetisation was announced with the objectives of detecting black money and fake currency notes, Raja wanted to know how much the government has achieved in this regard.
However, the Prime Minister or the government were not forthcoming with any details on these matters, he added. Demonetisation had affected national growth and fuelled unemployment, he charged.
Farmers were neither able to spend on buying inputs nor could they sell their produce, even as other sectors like industry and hospitality had also taken a hit, he alleged.
“Demonetisation has resulted in severe cash crunch and led to an economic emergency,” he said and wanted the government to list out “at least one or two benefits” the move has resulted in.
On opposition’s insistence that the budget be deferred in view of the model code of conduct coming into effect following announcement of elections to five states, Raja said the Election Commission should “ensure a level-playing field.”
He said the Left parties, including CPI(M) and CPI, would jointly face the polls, especially in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to ensure the BJP did not come to power there.
The SAD-BJP government in Punjab was already “unpopular,” he added. Meanwhile, former CPI MP, K Subbarayan, slammed the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu for being “irresponsible” on the drought situation, which has resulted in an agrarian crisis and some farmers’ deaths.
He questioned why the government has so far not declared the state as drought-hit since such an announcement could fetch Central funds. Neighbouring Kerala and Karnataka had done it last year itself, he said.